Use this forum for the discussion of all things related to the use of cellular trail cameras. The discussion of different models/manufacturers, service providers, problems, tips & hints for ease of use are all welcome here.
User avatar
By DevonTT
#347007
So... we had this trap set up to catch a lost dog--a 12-pound Shih tzu/poodle mix. PIR sensitivity was set on Normal. Photo Burst 1, Trigger Interval 5s. Small Thumbnails.

Image

See that white blob left of the trap? That's the dog's blanket, which had been placed inside the trap as an attractant. At some point during the night, the dog (or some other animal) was able to enter the trap and pull the blanket all the way out without triggering the camera. This image was requested from the portal. There were no shots on the SD card of this event.

This alone is concerning, but we also have many reports of team members going to trap sites and feeding stations, spending several minutes refreshing the bait and never getting a shot. We have 11 GoCams, and they all seem to exhibit spotty performance at times. I would understand not getting images if the cell signal is weak. But wouldn't the camera trigger and write to the card anyway?

This trap setup is fairly typical for us. In temperate weather, should we keep PIR sensitivity on Normal? Or should we default to Low, then change it only if we get too many empty shots? Should the camera be closer to the trap?

Or is this just typical of all trailcams and we need to lower our expectations of getting every shot of movement at our traps?
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#347011
First, I'm not going to say that ALL trail cameras miss shots because I don't have experience with all trail cameras. However, they do miss shots and sometimes they take lots of shots of nothing at all. They work as expected most of the time.

How close is that camera to the trap? I think I would try moving the camera back just a little bit. The camera senses in a cone shape and if the camera is a little bit farther back, you have a wider area that it will sense. The trigger happens when something moves across detection zones and with the camera close to the trap, it's possible that all the activity is in the middle, which isn't moving from zone to zone.

As an explanation, something moving directly toward the camera may not trigger it because that's in one detection zone. However, something moving across the camera, from one side to the other, will cross detection zones.

I'm a little puzzled that the action wasn't caught but that camera is set at a weird height and angle for that trap.

How high off the ground is that camera? You might try putting it closer to the ground, maybe as low as a foot or foot and a half above the ground so it's aimed straighter at the trap? It may be that you're on sloping ground and that's the best you can do but the camera position in relationship to the trap bothers me for some reason.
#347013


I'm a little puzzled that the action wasn't caught but that camera is set at a weird height and angle for that trap.

How high off the ground is that camera? You might try putting it closer to the ground, maybe as low as a foot or foot and a half above the ground so it's aimed straighter at the trap? It may be that you're on sloping ground and that's the best you can do but the camera position in relationship to the trap bothers me for some reason.


My thought as well
User avatar
By DevonTT
#347014
Thanks for that info! I actually prefer to have the camera a little closer to the trap for a better view. Does the distance from the animal to the camera have an effect on the camera's ability to sense heat/motion?
#347015
As long as you don't go less than a foot or two it shouldn't affect the sensing, the issue then is catching the animal fast enough if it's just passing by. If all you want to see is if something is in he trap then that's different and closer would be better. Maybe if you took some pictures from a distance of your setups we could help more.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#347016
Devon,

I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to see close up, but it would seem to me that the critical thing is to get the subject in the picture. If you need a better view, either set for larger thumbnails or request the full res photo and zoom in. Is the problem that you have multiple creatures and you can't tell the difference among them or that there are multiple dogs in an area that fit the description and you're trying to be sure you have the exact right dog?

I'm not in the business you are in, so I may be missing something, but to me, a photo of EVERYTHING that visits the trap, regardless of what it is, is more important than trying to get a great picture of something in/at the trap. I'd move the camera back just a little bit and test it by walking all around the trap, messing around in front of it, etc., for several minutes when it's first put out and making sure you are getting pictures of people at a variety of positions around the trap area.

An advantage of having the camera a little farther back would also be that you would see if the target approached the trap area but didn't go to the trap. I'm not talking about moving it way back but a little more distance will cover more area.
User avatar
By Roscoe
#347017
Even though the aiming of that camera is not optimal, I would think it would still trigger in that situation.

Take advantage of the app features when hanging cameras. If you don't already do this, use real time to request pictures to be sure the camera is aimed exactly like you want it. You can turn real time off after your done to conserve batteries.

I've been running 4 GoCams this year. 3 over feeders and 1 over a water trough. The only time I can recall one of them not triggering on me was when I had my trough cam set on high sensitivity in hot weather. It didn't sense worth a darn on high. Otherwise they trigger on me every time I walk in.

And you're right, signal is only about sending pictures and has nothing to do with triggering & saving pictures to SD card. The only effect marginal signal can have on that is transmission time can get stretched out, lengthening the overall time between possible triggers.

If you haven't done this, use the walk test feature also. Switch the camera to setup, close the door and walk around and get an idea of the best sensing area for that particular camera.
User avatar
By bowhtr1
#347086
That pic tells it all to me. It is aimed to low. I get tree rats and sometimes even mice on mine. I have mine on high. If you set that so the ground is only 30% of the picture and level you will be in good shape.
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